1.1. National education system
- The Spanish Constitution (CE 1978), in its Title I Basic Rights and Duties Article 49, provides that the public authorities shall implement a policy of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and integration of those who are physically, sensorially, or mentally handicapped, who shall be given the special attention which they require and be afforded special protection for the enjoyment of the rights which this Title grants to all citizens.
- The Law for the Social Integration of the Handicapped (LISMI 13/82) sets down a series of measures concerning personal, social and labour attention to handicapped people. Among these measures are basic guidelines for the educational framework, with the aim of guaranteeing that these pupils may reach as far as possible the established general objectives of education. Educational integration, individualization of education when needed, services normalization, etc..
- The Organic Law 2/2006 of Education establishes the concept of "pupils with the specific need of educational support" which includes, among others, pupils with special educational needs, highly gifted pupils and pupils who were incorporated late into the Spanish education system.
It is based on the following basic principles:
• Quality education for all students;
• Equity for equal opportunities, education inclusion and no discrimination, that compensates personal, cultural, economic and social inequality mainly those derived from disabilities;
• Flexibility to adapt education to special needs, interests, aptitudes and every pupil's expectations.
- With the aim of implementing the principle of equality in the exercise of the right to education, The Royal Decree 696/1995 (RD) on the regulation of the education of pupils with special educational needs requires that public authorities develop compensatory actions regarding disadvantaged people, groups and geographic areas, as well as providing the necessary financial resources and support for such actions. Therefore, compensatory education policies reinforce actions of the education system in avoiding inequalities resulting from social, economic, cultural, geographic, ethnic or other factors. The RD develops the different educational stages of the Spanish education system.
- The Order of 14 February 1996 about the evaluation of pupils with special needs within the general system of Education Act 1/1990 establishes that the psychopedagogical evaluation will determine all the steps of action taken with their education, and that education authorities must provide for the adequate schooling of those pupils in post-compulsory education and adapt the conditions to carry out their curricula, resources, specific supports and school and professional orientation after compulsory education.
1.2. National vocational training and lifelong learning systems
- In accordance with the Royal Decree 1538/2006 of 15th December 2006, Pupils with special educational needs who complete their basic education without having achieved the objectives set for compulsory secondary education may continue their schooling under three training options linked to vocational training. Thus, an education is provided which enables such pupils to have subsequent access to work in special employment institutions or occupational schools, complements their basic training, reinforces the skills that foster independent development, and enhances their quality of life. For those students unable to achieve the objectives set for compulsory education, administrations are to promote training programmes adapted to these pupils' specific needs in order to facilitate their social and job integration.
- The Order of 22 March 1999, Resolution of 20 May 1999 and Resolution of 29 June 1999 establish that specific special education schools are intended for pupils who follow compulsory teaching but who, due to their characteristics, cannot be integrated in mainstream schools. When there are no specific special educational institutions in the area, these pupils receive their schooling in special education units within mainstream institutions. Pupils are enrolled in separate special education units or schools only where there is sound reason to believe that their needs cannot be suitably met in a mainstream institution. There are also specific special educational institutions that enrol pupils with special educational needs associated with a very specific type of disability.
These specific special educational institutions provide basic compulsory education, which covers the 6-16 age range. Once basic education is completed, they can also provide programmes intended to facilitate transition to adult and working life. These programmes last two years, with a possible extension of a further year, directed to pupils aged 16-21.
2.1. Mainstream education (please specify what support measures if any)
Same as 1.2 above.
- The Royal Decree 1631/2006 of 29 December 2006 on minimum requirements for secondary education establishes that compulsory secondary education must be organised according to the principles of common provision and attention to pupil diversity. Measures regarding attention to diversity are to cater for the specific educational needs of students and the achievement of basic competences and objectives of the stage, and must not discriminate against students, preventing them from achieving those objectives and obtaining the appropriate qualifications. The decree establishes the new structure of vocational training degrees, in accordance with the National Catalogue on Vocational Qualifications, European Union Guidelines and other aspects of social interest. It also establishes the following measures to facilitate access, continued attendance and progression of pupils with special education needs:
• Institutions providing vocational training must develop the curricula set by the relevant education authority according to the characteristics and expectations of the pupils, addressing those with a disability in particular, as well as according to the training possibilities in the area, specially in the On-the-Job Training modulo.
• Assessment procedures are to be adjusted to the methodological adaptations made for disabled pupils and are to guarantee their access to assessment tests.
• The necessary support and reinforcement measures and instruments are to be established in order to facilitate information and guidance for disabled people. Education authorities must provide education adapted to the specific needs of disabled people, including if needed specially adapted modules.
• Education authorities must establish a percentage of school places assigned to disabled pupils, this percentage not to be lower than 5% of the places offered.
• Vocational training provision, entrance examinations and additional requirements must observe regulations regarding equal opportunities, non discrimination and universal accessibility.
• Pupils must be provided with the means and resources necessary to access and take this provision.
- The Resolution of 24 March 2008 provides that education authorities must establish a percentage of higher education places assigned to disabled pupils, such percentage not being lower than 3% of the places offered. It also establishes equal opportunities and non-discrimination principles for all the pupils.
2.1.4. Vocational training and lifelong learning
- In accordance with the Order dated 22 March 1999, Resolution of 20 May 1999 and Resolution of 29 June 1999, pupils with special educational needs who complete their basic education without having achieved the objectives set for compulsory secondary education may continue their schooling under three training options linked to vocational training. This enables them to have subsequent access to work in special employment institutions or occupational schools, complements their basic training, and reinforces the skills that foster independent development. Educational counselling in specific special educational institutions is related to three general areas of intervention: support to the teaching/learning process; development of the tutorial action plan; transition to adult life and employment integration programme. The first two areas are those established for the general education system. The third one, however, has individual features: it must be used to strengthen all those contents having a higher functional value within the subjects taught in the second cycle of Basic Education, as well as to provide coherence to the actions and initiatives which promote the integration of the pupils into employment in those activities most appropriate to their individual circumstances.
2.2.4. Vocational training and lifelong learning
The Resolution of 25 April 1996 states that, in the case of specific special educational institutions providing education to pupils who cannot enter a mainstream school, only two educational levels are provided: Basic Compulsory Education (6 to 16 years of age) and Complementary Vocational Training or Programmes for Transition to Adult Life (16 to 19 years of age). Pupils at these institutions may be enrolled up to the maximum age of 21.
This way, pupils with special educational needs who complete Basic Education without having achieved the objectives of compulsory secondary education (ESO) may continue their schooling under three different vocational training-related options:
• Social guarantee programmes. Some pupils may enrol in mainstream schools and take social guarantee programmes that adapt to their personal circumstances as well as to their level of skills and development.
• Special social guarantee programmes, designed those wishing to continue schooling beyond ESO. This does not prevent them from participating in mainstream social guarantee programmes. The special programmes are adjusted to their personal characteristics, their degree of development and skills, as well as to their subsequent employment aspirations. They have the same structure as the social guarantee programmes run for the pupil population at large and are organised around the following areas: Basic Training, Training and Career Guidance, Vocational Training, Complementary Activities and Educational Guidance. Vocational training is particularly important, due to the special needs shown by this group, addressed both to the acquisition of skills and skills of a general nature and to training for practising a specific trade. These programmes are provided in secondary education schools, in specific special education schools and in institutions designated for this purpose pursuant to agreements signed between the Autonomous Communities and other authorities, town councils or non-profit organisations.
• Programmes for the Transition to Adult Life, designed for pupils with special educational needs associated with more severe and permanent disabilities who, in light of the low degree of development and skill achieved after Basic Education, are unable to take advantage of the two training alternatives discussed above. These programmes are intended to last two years, but they may be extended to three, and are generally provided in specific special education schools. The priority objectives are to help these pupils to develop the necessary conduct and habits to lead an adult life as independently as possible, enable them to use the services that society makes available to all citizens and, wherever possible, to train them to undertake occupational activities related to very specific and clearly defined jobs. Cases may arise in which pupils are 16 or over by the time they finish the first cycle of ESO and their academic performance indicates that, even if they did enrol in the second cycle, they would not be able to pass their degree in Secondary Education certificate. In such circumstances, these pupils are allowed direct access to the type of programme above, without having to first complete the second cycle of ESO.
2.3.4. Vocational training and lifelong learning
See previous chapters.
3.1. Subjects (Braille, computer, daily-living skills, mobility, etc.)
The Spanish National Organization for the Blind (ONCE), through its Education Resources centres and their specific teams which have agreements with every single educational administration in Spain (Autonomous Regions), provides educational support in specific areas to all pupils with visual impairment, such as:
• Orientation and mobility
• Visual stimulation etc…
3.2. Training and certificates for visually impaired teachers (Braille, computer, daily-living skills, mobility, etc.)
The Royal Decree 334/85 states that education authorities should ensure the necessary resources for these pupils to reach their full potential, as well as to achieve the general objectives proposed for every pupil. Education authorities will have the necessary means for this purpose and must put the necessary procedures and resources in place for the early identification of the specific educational needs of pupils with the specific need of educational support. Comprehensive attention to these pupils should begin at the very moment in which such necessity is identified, according to the principles of normalisation and inclusion.
• Royal Decree 276/2007 of 23 February 2007 on access and acquisition of new specialities of teaching staff,
• Royal Decree 1393/2007 of 29 December 2007 on official higher studies.
3.3. Training and certificates for visually impaired students (Braille, computer, daily-living skills, mobility, etc.)
• The period of primary education may be extended by one more year. The decision is presented along with recommendations regarding the complementary educational measures aimed at helping the pupil achieve the programmed objectives.
• In secondary education, another measure to be implemented is the extension of compulsory schooling by two years until the maximum age of 18 (exceptionally until 21). For those pupils who are not yet in a position to achieve these objectives via ordinary measures intended to accommodate diversity, a series of exceptional measures, undertaken in exceptional circumstances, is called for. These measures cover both pedagogical and curricular considerations as well as they relate to specific resources.
• ONCE runs the University College of Physiotherapy, belonging to the Autonomous University of Madrid, especially oriented to pupils with visual impairments.
4.1. Provision of the basic documents
• Assistance from the Ministry of Education: 104 €.
• ONCE, through their specific support teams and through their Educational Resources Centres and Bibliographic Service, contribute the didactical material needed for all pupils with visual impairment.
4.2. Adaptation and transcription of the documents
• Assistance from the Ministry of Education.
• ONCE, through their specific support teams and through their Educational Resources Centres and Bibliographic Service, adapt and transcribe all materials needed for pupils with visual impairment ( tests, textbooks, etc…)
5.4. Vocational training and lifelong learning
• Assistance is received from the Ministry of Education through the Superior Institute of Training (provision of technological and educational resources to the educational community).
• ONCE, through CIDAT, the Educational Resources Centres and their professionals, provides the training and materials needed to make the technology used in educational centres accessible to the visually impaired. CIDAT also develops all kinds of materials in order to guarantee the access to technology.
Other legislation related to people with disabilities:
• Order ECD/235/2007 of 7 February 2007 Establishing the Educative Assistance Forum for people with disabilities.
• Over the last few years Autonomous Communities have proceeded to regulate and adapt the organisation of special education within their territories by enacting decrees, orders and resolutions that complement the general legislation.